New home construction in Canada registered a robust 230,701 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) in September, an 8 per cent increase over August. The six-month trend in Canadian housing starts of 202,500 units SAAR continues to rise and is currently above the rate of household formations in Canada, a sign that new home construction could slow next year.
Housing starts in BC were up 7 per cent from August, rising to 27,331 units SAAR. On a year-over-year basis, housing starts were down 2 per cent with single detached starts falling 5 per cent year-over year while multiple unit starts were flat compared to this time last year. Year-to-date, total housing starts in BC are up 10 per cent compared to 2014.
Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were down 7 per cent year-over-year in August as a result of slowing construction of multiple units, which fell 10 per cent year-over-year. In the Victoria CMA, the rate of new home construction fell 54 per cent compared to September 2014 due to relative inactivity in multiple unit starts. Total housing starts in the Kelowna CMA were down 3 cent year-over-year as a dip in single detached starts dragged total starts lower. Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA more than tripled compared to this time last year as new multi-unit projects broke ground.